I was going to write about some of the projects I have on my needles but blocking a new shawl brought home the totally unexpected affect of washing liquids.
I had bought a pack of undyed BFL Gotland 4ply yarn to try, it has a rustic look to it but is wonderfully soft and I wanted to knit a sample shawl in two colours, one being the natural grey of the yarn undyed and the other a soft, muted green that I’d dyed using tansy and indigo.
I picked Titanium by Heidi Alander with the grey for the body and the green for the lace. I followed the pattern but as I was using 4ply rather than sport weight I knitted the garter stitch until I had 295 stitches and then did 18 repeats of the lace.
Finished I soaked it in Ecover Non-bio Laundry Liquid which I use for washing all our hand dyed yarns and as it was an item I might wear I gave it a quick soak in Ecover Fabric Conditioner. When I was little I used to have Dad’s freshly washed hankies as a comforter, I do love the smell of laundry liquids.
The laundry liquid is pH7 I checked when I started doing natural dyes but I forgot to check the pH of the fabric conditioner, I think perhaps I should have.
The conditioner has a pH of just over 4 and shifted the colour to a much brighter yellow so the green came out much stronger after its acidic dip.
I could sort of understand if the colour had gone from brighter to more muted but was totally surprised by the colour shift the other way, fortunately I like it and lesson is learned – always check the pH.